Poll: Are You Primarily an iNat Observer or Identifier?

Greetings everyone!

I’ve been curious for awhile to see a numerical value for the ratio of iNat users (or at least those active in the Forum) who have more observations than identifications compared to those with more identifications than observations. I strongly suspect that most people have far more observations than IDs, but I haven’t come across any sort of data collection on this point.

I know that I am firmly in the identifier category; I have seven times more identifications than observations. What about you? Please vote below!

Does your iNat account have

  • Mostly observations
  • Mostly identifications
  • A roughly equal amount of both

0 voters


Oh goodness. I have 8 times as many IDs as I do obs. I spend a lot of time at the computer while working and IDing stuff is a guilty pleasure of mine I do on the side–I have a couple of taxa / locations I camp out specifically via the Following feature and throw IDs on whatever needs them, and when I really get the itch I start sniffing out the Identify tab. It’s a fun way to interact with nature while I’m stuck inside, and also to learn about things in other parts of the world I may never get to visit myself.


I try to learn and give back by also attempting to do some identifications, but still have double as many observations as identifications… Don’t really feel qualified to do many identifications apart from a few families, genera and species… (and sometimes at a very high level of kingdom/phylum when some new observers don’t put any info on their observation (in the hope that it might catch the interest of suitably qualified identifiers…))


i have like 2000 more IDs than observations but i still think im mostly an observer. i just have a tendency to hyperfocus and had an extreme millipede fix-it phase. that millipede fix-it phase really skewed my numbers big time. so i voted equal.


I have a lot more IDs…but that’s because they’re mostly coarse IDs.


yeah i have a lot of those too


I have a lot more ID’s than observations, but that’s mostly because I went through a phase where I was doing a lot of identifying. Currently I think I make around equal parts observations and identifications.

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My ratio is almost ten to one in favour of IDs! I can’t get out into nature as much as I’d like to due to chronic illness so I try to make up for it by assisting the community with identifications. Hopefully this year I’ll be able to even things about a bit and start posting more of my own observations!


A short calculation of my obss. and ids says in about 1 obs. : 35 ids. (ca. 400 : 14.000).
On the other hand i got several 1000s of photos, neither tagged, nor named at flickr and elsewhere, partially on not accessible hardware. No, idea when i will have time to care for all hidden findings, in case ever.
Many users do add lots of low quality obss. and photos without caring about iNat as a whole. I don’t use the App but only the PC at home to upload obss. which are something special to me for usual. Will possibly add more of my findings when other duties are cleared, let’s hope.

p.s. corrected first wrong calculation of relation


WELCOME and thanks for assisting with identifications.
I wish you best chances and healthyness to go out into nature and show us more of your sightings!
Best regards


my current ratio is about 17 IDs : 1 Ob.
many of those IDs are coarse.

I’d argue that a devoted identifier is someone who has a ratio of over 3:1 since then they are producing more RG / confirmed IDs than observations needing ID.

I think my ratio is so high because I use it as my main way to learn what’s in my area, and because I ID so many Unknowns. I enjoy Observing more but my time to do that is more limited.


Ratio: approx. 1 OB : 2 IDs. Observations are just fun, IDs are more kind of work/obligation. As the Inat data makes part of GBIF, I put my effort to make it correct. Another purpose is teaching and attracting more people to record lichens. And resulting from the two – use the inat data for my own research.


I’m mostly Obs. I would like to ID more, but honestly i find the ID UI on both the website and the mobile app very frustrating.

Mostly i just subscribe to my local area and some select species i’m confident with, and ID from the homepage. I almost never visit the dedicated ID page. I’d like to, i just find it frustrating.

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What about my observations I have identified myself or which have been identified outside inat?

1 Like

2:1 to obs, and I have no idea how I got so many ids, my main group is birds and there’s no reason to id birds on iNat as ten ppl will do it after you.


I just checked and apparently I have an 8:1 ratio of IDs to observations, but I don’t consider myself primarily an identifier because I still observe as often as I can. It’s just way easier to identify than to observe. I can identify whenever I’m bored at home, whereas it takes some effort and planning to get out.


I haven’t calculated my ratio but I’m sure it’s very high on the observation side. I’d really like to be doing more IDing, but I’m on a satellite internet connection with a very limited monthly download data cap before it drops to a crawl, while upload rates stay pretty stable. I can set up an upload of 100+ observations (pre-tagged with ID), walk away and wash some dishes, then come back and hit “submit” 20 or 30 minutes later. Doing IDs, if I need to open up closeup pictures it might take the same amount of time to get through just a few.

Really looking forward to moving somewhere where typical internet is available in April!


Similar thing here last half year (luckily not chronic) and it’s made my ratio go up to 112:1- I had not noticed how much that was!

It’s great that this site provides a way both to learn about nature and be helpful even if you can’t be out in nature as much.


Mostly observer…still not skilled enough to make confirmed IDs, but i do help people like me in IDing things that I have already observed or have some amount of experience in. The ratio roughly is 2:1.


Roughly 5:1 ID to observations. However: about a fifth of those are for my own observations. And I live in a place that has a pretty awful winter, so I can’t do much observing for roughly 5 months per year. Identifying things in warmer climes is cheaper than therapy ;)